Latest Articles about Kaliningrad/Baltic

Is Kaliningrad on the Brink of Inter-Ethnic Conflict?

Rather unexpectedly, Kaliningrad oblast—Russia’s westernmost, physically detached region on the Baltic coast—experienced a surge in inter-ethnic tensions arising from discrimination directed at the local Islamic community. On September 19, a Kaliningrad court opened a legal case initiated by the local Muslim community, which is suing... MORE

Zapad 2017: A Test for the West

The joint strategic Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad 2017 (“West” 2017), which took place on September 14–20, is worth studying in detail because of what it reveals about Moscow’s likely military operations in the westward direction in the event of a regional crisis. At the same... MORE

Lukashenka and Russian Officials Part Ways During Zapad 2017

The Zapad 2017 military exercise is officially over. Russian tank and airborne (VDV) units are being withdrawn from Belarus as well as Kaliningrad, Leningrad and Pskov oblasts, and moved back to their permanent bases (, September 22). On October 1, the autumn call-up of some... MORE

Strategic War Game Zapad 2017 Has Begun

Last November, in Minsk, at a session of the joint Russian-Belarusian “defense collegium,” Russia’s minister of defense, Army-General Sergei Shoigu, declared the upcoming strategic war game, Zapad 2017, to be “the most important joint military exercise of the Armed Forces in 2017.” According to Shoigu,... MORE

The Russian Navy: To deter the US and to Compete With China

The Russian Armed forces are becoming the main element of the government’s “patriotic propaganda.” Currently, the Ministry of Defense is overwhelmingly focused on preparing to celebrate the 320th anniversary of the Russian Naval Fleet. Even the Dmitryi Donskoyi, the last remaining Soviet-era Project 941 nuclear... MORE

Latvia Pursues ‘Total Defense’ Concept, Rejects Conscription

In early April 2017, the Latvian Ministry of Defense’s (MoD) Parliamentary Secretary Andrejs Panteļējevs publicly announced the country was returning to the concept of total or “comprehensive” defense, which it had abandoned after joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Latvia will maintain the strategy... MORE